We had an opportunity to sit down with Queen Allen and pick her brain about her career in the plus size modeling world. She had some fun answers and insights into the Plus Size Fashion Industry! Check out her answers and a gallery of some of her work in the gallery below.
BM: What made you decide you wanted to become a plus sized model?
QA: After winning a beauty contest in 1999, I started Size Plus Modeling. I featured in Black Hair and Beauty magazine as well as being a feature
model with independent fashion label Popeau andHall.Due to a family tragedy, I had to take time out to become a professional Foster career and look after my 3 younger sisters. As they are now older, I have returned to my passion of acting and modeling as well as working in Media Production. I was voted “The Face of Models of Diversity 2009” a campaign to get women from different races, ages, sizes and abilities represented in the beauty industry. See their Facebook page “Models of Diversity” or www.modelsofdiversity.org.
BM: Describe your journey. How did you get to where you are?
QA: Over ten years ago, I started Plus Size Modeling, as well as my acting but gave up the hard careers as it was so tough for me to continue without any solid support to see me through the harsh times (my father estranged me from the family due to my passion for acting and the media and my absolute refusal to be controlled by him). Once my sisters were a bit older and more independent, I decided that it was time to start looking after myself and my passions. I started to work out more, went back to drama school, signed up to countless casting sites and really threw myself back to acting and modeling. I know I will never be less than a size 16, I’m becoming more and more comfortable with my body and size as I have other more satisfying issues to think of like what can I learn about myself and the industry and how I can progress as a woman, care rand career woman. I’ve always been Plus Sized, and now I have no desire to be anything but. Last year, I won a competition to become The Face of Models of Diversity, a campaigning group that advocates diversity in the fashion industry, and this experience has enabled me to work with disabled models, older models and models that have survived eating disorders. This has been a huge inspiration for me, and I hope to inspire other women as well as my sisters to be the best kind of woman that they can be.
The last few years have really taught me that if I take a chance, and venture out of my comfort zone, I can start to forge a future that my family and I can be proud of. All I need now is the key on how to keep the motivation for working out maintained… Answers on a postcard please!!
BM: What advice do you have for young women who want to become plus sized models? For young women in general?
QA: To those wanting to be Plus Size Models, go for it! Don’t allow society narrow minded view of beauty put you off of pursuing your dream. There are lots of casting and modeling websites that you can apply to and build up your portfolio. Make sure you research the industry, other models and poses to keep ahead of the game. Also, be as healthy as you can, and work out as photo shoots and catwalk shows can be really physically demanding.
BM: What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced? Were they worth it?
QA: I have constantly had to battle again race and size discrimination all my life. As a career, I don’t want my sisters to have the same insecurities and anxieties as I did when I was growing up. I believe that the images that surround us in the media, beauty and entertainment industries contribute to influencing how women feel about themselves and that women should be represented in all our different and glorious forms. All ages, ethnicities, abilities and sizes should be celebrated and presented. Our diverseness is at the heart of our beauty and strength and this should be celebrated.
BM: What are your favorite…
Foods: Thai and Carribbean
Activities: Gym, socializing, festivals, theatre, live music, dancing, cooking.
Movies: Horror, thrillers, and drama
Music: House, dance, R&B, Hip Hop
Books: Self Help Bibles, Fashion Magazines
BM: Lastly, show us your BOLD (meaning, tell us something awesome about yourself!)
QA: I am BOLD as I have worked hard all my life to live the life that I believe in! I love Drama, music and fashion and my race, sex or size will not stop me from enjoying them to the FULLEST! (All with a smile on my face x)
Interested in seeing some of Queen Allen’s work? Check them out below:
MAR 2011 Style Queen Boutique
Photographic Advert (Photographic) http://www.facebook.com/ms.stylequeen
AUG 2010 Evolve Magazine Catwalk
at Balham Street Festival
JUL 2010 Models of Diversity
Launch Party Plus Size Catwalk
JUL 2010 Models of Diversity
“Plus Perfection” Photoshoot
JAN 2010 Daisy Green Runway (Catwalk)
DEC 2009 Just As Beautiful Magazine
DEC 2009 Photo East Collective
NOV 2009 Roy Harris – Natural Attractions (Photographic)
OCT 2009 Westbury Hotel
AUG 2009 I AM Brand website
JUL 2009 Plus Model Magazine
(Photographic and written article)
JUL 2009 Katie Pearl
“Breakaway” Video (Dancing,
JUN 2009 www.smilesphoto.co.uk
MAY 2009 www.jadetinkler.co.uk